Thundercloud & Eightball- Rants and Musings


February is the worst month of the year.

Though February is the shortest month, it seems like the longest month. February this year, unlike most years, has twenty-nine long, dark, crummy  days. We're being punished with an extra day of clouds, snow, and cold. How lovely.

Why didn't the folks who designed the Calendar stick the extra day of leap year in April or September? The were Sadists, that's why. The stuck it to us is what they did. The added it to the worst possible month of the year and snickered about it.

Adding a day to April or September would have been fair. Those of us who live in the northern hemisphere would get an extra day of spring, those living in the southern hemisphere would get an extra day of fall. Then we'd flip-flop. Cool deal! It's not fair the way it is. People in Australia get a leap summer this year and we get stuck with a leap winter. We're so lucky.

By the time February is over, it will seem like it was sixty-two days long. To those of us who live in the Midwestern United States, February would be too long if it had only nine days. I'm for banishing February altogether. We should go back to having ten months a year, like the Romans. February and November need to go. We should have kept Latin and banned February. You can't even get good oysters in February.

On the other hand, if there were no other months except February, we'd all live to be 622 years old - or so it would seem. By the time we got to the middle of the month, we'd all be ready to meet our Maker - looking forward to it. I bet the suicide rate would run amok if all we had to look forward to, day after day, was another day of February.

February is a cruel, cold, contentious month. Though it is the month that brings us Valentine's day, it has no heart. It is the mean, odious, step-mother of months. It leads us slowly and painfully wiggling into March. That's when spring is supposed to begin. Ah, but March is a but a windy flirt. The calendar says spring begins on March 21. The calendar lies. If you're older than five you already know what mendacious document the calendar is. It even lies about our age.

February, is a loathsome month of wall-to-wall clouds, damp, cold air, snow, rain, sleet, rain and ice. It's a month that strings together twenty-nine amaranthine days of churlish, bone-chilling, gnarly weather. Spring seems is so near you can almost imagine it - yet it is so far away. Then, when we get through all sixty-two days of February, we'll get bashed in the mouth by a windy, cold, rainy, morose March. The only admirable quality that March has is that it will throw a few bones at us - a few sweet, tempting, teaser days to make us forget what a horrid month it really is. At least it's not February though.

I think I do like winter though -at least the first two months of it. I can't imagine spending Christmas morning barbequing ribs, sitting around on the patio in my Speedo, opening up a new tie.

February is the last full month of winter and the longest of them all. The best thing we have going for us in February is the world's largest rat who lives in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania. He's the fat, prescient rat that who tells us how many more weeks of winter we have left.

I don't need a big rat to tell me. I already know. We have at least ten more weeks of winter. Now you think I'm the big rat, don't you?

If you live in the northern parts of the northern hemisphere, you know what I'm saying. If you live in Australia, New Zealand, or some place else in the southern hemisphere, you've got major problems with February too.

Did you ever think that you're actually being cheated out of three days of summer?  February falls during your summer. It is your last full month of summer. You normally have 28 days in your last full month of summer. Our last full month of summer is August and it ALWAYS has 31 days. See what I'm saying? This year you've got a leap summer. I bet you're happy. You still get cheated out of two days of summer though - thanks to February.

I hate leap years. They make February longer. It is long enough with twenty-eight days in it. We don't need to add another day to it.

February does have some bright spots in it, if you work for the government, schools, or banks, that is. If you're one of those lucky souls you probably love February, despite the fact that the sun never shines and February's  frigid fingers dig deep into your shriveled, winter-dry skin. Still you probably rejoice because February is riddled with holidays for you: Ground Hog's Day, MLK day, Valentine's Day, and President's day. Banks close for every holiday known to man. Groundhog's Day and Valentine's Day off aren't on the litany of bank holidays yet are they? I'm sure they will be soon.

Speaking of President's day, it might be called Presidents' Day but I have never yet met anyone who sits around and ponders the good deeds, good words, heroics or exploits of George or Abraham. President's Day is not exactly Super Bowl Sunday is it? Hey! Come on over, I'm making  pigs-in-a-blanket, and tacos - got beer and soda. I'm having a President's Day party- bring your top hat. Ain't gonna happen - although having President's Day party makes just about as much sense as having a Stupid Bowl Party. A bunch of indolent partying types sitting around watching 43 minutes of football, 97 minutes of commercials and 112 minutes of fat men sitting around telling you what you just watched.

I'll bet that most of you who work for the government, schools, or banks, will be eagerly thumbing through newspapers looking for Presidents' Day Sales. I also bet that those of you who are off that day will not spend a second of it pondering the greatness of two American presidents or attending ceremonies honoring them. I bet none of you come to my Presidents Day Party and eating a few of my gourmet pigs-in-a-blanket.

President's Day Sales are inane and obvious attempts to induce you to part with your hard-earned money. Still, though we all know that, retailers win.

Poor old George and Abraham are rolling over in their graves. Who would have thought that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln would have been reduced to being silly symbols for something so absurd as a ladies' toiletries sale?

Oh yes! Let's not forget "Valentine's Day". It's supposed to be a day of romance, love, and sweet whispers. Really though, at least in my cynical mind, it's a way for Hallmark, American Greetings, other purveyors of cardboard poetry to make oodles of wampum. 

According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year. This makes Valentine's Day the second biggest "card-sending" holiday of the year - right behind Christmas with 2.6 billion cards. 85% of all Valentine's Day cards are sent by women. I have no comment on that.

Let's not forget the candy, candles, "romantic items" and other Valentine's Day goodies that line store shelves from the day after Christmas through the 14th of February. Sigh. The Valentine's Day ruse is a marketers dream. It's MONEY, not romance that keeps Valentine's Day alive.

Just in case you think I'm somehow anti-romantic or picking on women, I'm not.

One of the worst things about February is the "Super Bowl". A football game interrupted by 5 minute commercials, a one-hour halftime, and ridiculous 3 minute "TV timeouts". If I were a football coach I wouldn't even want to play in that circus.

The Super Bowl is just a game between two teams that have probably already played each other twice before in the same. It's a game that's covered relentlessly by the media for weeks and weeks. We get to watch mentally-challenged, 400-pound, lineman tell us why they like Brittany Speers, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or Axe Shower Gel.

The Super Bowl is not a game. It's more hype and hoopla than sport - more schlock than substance. Most of us won't even remember who was in the Super Bowl by April -let alone what teams played in it.

Lots of people watch the Super Bowl to see all the beautiful people who will be in attendance.  They'll all be there because if you're somebody, anybody at all, you're required to make an appearance at "The Super Bowl". I won't be there. I'm not important.

The Super Bowl: The height of American SUPERficiality.

I would mention that February is a big month for NASCAR - but you don't even want to hear what I think about that.

Besides the interminably long string of sunless, damp, intractable, bitter days that February brings, the tantalizing thought of spring on the horizon, and the merciless brutal continuation of dreadful winter weather - I have even more reasons to dislike February.

Its 62 days are neatly packed into a calendar of 29 days this year. It's not right and it's not fair. It's voodoo. February is a surly, sinister joke nature plays on us in the Midwest every single year.

I can't change the calendar and I can't change the weather so I always try to accept things as they are. But I have a hard time accepting the cruel and heartless month of February. It's the one month of the year that I don't like at all. It has no redeeming qualities.

Except that it brings us one month closer to spring.

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